Ever heard of police bhuta?

Ever heard of police bhuta?

Submitted by alvin on Mon, 2016-10-03 14:46 Tulu bhuta worship is remarkable for its diversity. It is not just personalities such as Mudda, Kalala, Koti and Chennaya who are worshipped as bhutas. Chinese, Arabs, Christians, Muslims, and even a subedar from the British era – worshipped as Kannada Beera - have been incorporated into the tradition of spirit worship. In Udupi district’s Kaapu village, whose Pili (tiger) Kola is famous and known to all, there is another fascinating tradition of worshipping Police, Kalla (thief), Senava (village accountant), Patler, Tigamaarer, Balaaimaarer, Madimaya and Madimalu bhutas. So, how did this come about? According to a story, Kaapu’s Pilichamundi and other deities decide to take a dip in the Ganges and go on a pilgrimage. During their journey, they use their powers and make everyone who comes in their way disappear. As they continue their journey, they encounter two officers - Patler and Senava, who are worried about the non-payment of taxes. Patler demands an explanation from Senava for failing to collect taxes. On hearing Senava’s explanation, Patler asks him to take the help of the police to collect the dues. Senava agrees and does as told. With the help of the police, Senava collects dues from tigamaarer (honey lender) and balaaimarer (who sells beaten rice). Later, they encounter a gang of thieves and capture them. According to folklore, the deities, who had been tracking all the happenings, use their power to make the officers and others disappear and absorb them. This is how Patler, Police, Senava and others came to be worshipped as bhutas. The above tale gives a tiny glimpse of the customs and traditions of the earlier societies. (A special thanks to P Sundar, Prakash Marpady, Muralidhar Upadhyaya Hiriadka and Manohar Kundar for helping me in collecting the details)